South African teen 'recruited on social media' stopped on flight from joining IS

(Photo: aerial photograph of Cape Town from the air near Africa's southernmost tip.

Islamic State, the terror group that wants to take the world back hundreds of years in the name of Islam, is using the modern mode of social media to recruit worldwide.

Its latest recruit was a 15-year-old Cape Town girl who was removed from a flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg by authorities, who suspected that she was on her way to join IS.

The teen was taken off a British Airways flight on April 5 after she disappeared from home nine hours earlier, reported Monday.

The young woman was found seated by herself in the business section of the flight. She allegedly admitted that she was on her way to join the terror group in Iraq said the report.

IS targets any person or group that does not ascribe to its violent ideology sweing terror especially among Christians and non-Muslims, but also at people who follow Islam.

Most Muslims reject it as an aberration that bears no resemblance to their religion.

"We can confirm that she was leaving the country with the intention of joining IS, and she had been actively engaged with social media networks. Her parents have also confirmed she was using Twitter," South Africa's Minister of State Security David Mahlobo said in the IOL report.

The report said evidence in the girl's bedroom suggested that IS recruiters has been in contact with the teen and that she had transferred money to an unknown source.

She is said to have told her neighbour's daughter she was thinking of joining the terrorist group.

The report said the unnamed teen had become increasingly "more politicized" over the last month.

Following her questioning by State security officials, the teen was released into the custody of her family.


"An investigation is underway as to how far this network goes, whether there is a cell in the country, and what the methods of recruiting and funding are. We cannot allow South Africa to be used as a recruitment space," Mahlobo said.

This is the first incident of this nature reported in South Africa, but follows a pattern used by the terror group in other parts of the world.

Using social media, the group reaches out to susceptible teens, often in the Muslim community, to try and lure them.

Most recently a British teen was stopped from joining the group, while two Australian teen brothers have also recently been caught trying to join IS.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said in February Internet firms must do more to deal with online extremism after three teenage girls radicalised "in their bedrooms" left London in an apparent bid to travel to Syria, Reuters news agency reported.

IS  is recruiting South Africans to join its cause and some have already made the caliphate their home, the Sunday Tribune reported on March 1.

It said the Independent Media group had obtained a step-by-step guide on how South Africans can travel via Turkey to the caliphate's headquarters in Syria.

The document was available online via a micro-blogging platform, but could only be accessed with a password.

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